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Where Is Cory Gardner?

Westlake Legal Group merlin_145161267_fab6f769-8a6f-4a02-8707-2514718e62df-facebookJumbo Where Is Cory Gardner? Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment Hickenlooper, John W Gardner, Cory S Elections, Senate Colorado

DENVER — They keep expecting to see Senator Cory Gardner everywhere — on the local Fox affiliates in Colorado, on Facebook, on literature crammed inside their mailboxes. They are voters who wear tasteful crepe blouses and carry structured Kate Spade totes, who like how their 401(k)’s are performing but say they could do without President Trump’s “temperament.”

They are members of one of the most coveted groups in electoral politics: suburban women. But in their field of vision, Mr. Gardner, Colorado’s top Republican officeholder, is almost nowhere to be found.

“I don’t hear him speaking out on things,” said Jennifer Gremmert, 50, the executive director of an energy nonprofit. She is the kind of voter who could help Mr. Gardner win re-election in November, a registered Democrat who considers herself “nonpartisan,” “not that enthusiastic” about her party’s Senate candidates, and “totally” open to Mr. Gardner. But when it comes to the bipartisan stands that Ms. Gremmert said she prized in a candidate, “I don’t see him.”

On one level, this is strange: Many of these voters were crucial to Mr. Gardner’s narrow Senate victory in 2014, when he carried the suburban vote and was ahead among independents, according to exit polls. And they may be even more essential to him now — he is widely considered to be one of the most at-risk G.O.P. senators seeking re-election this year.

But Mr. Gardner’s invisibility — he hasn’t held a town hall-style meeting in two years — is also pragmatic, a means of avoiding questions about his ties to the divisive president, especially as the Senate impeachment trial nears. If Mr. Gardner ends up vocally supporting the president, or votes to acquit him in the trial, it will complicate and perhaps even endanger his race to hold onto his seat.

Unlike most Republican senators, Mr. Gardner has been largely mum on the articles of impeachment against the president and the Senate trial starting Tuesday. Early in the process, he called the impeachment inquiry a “total circus,” but notably refused to answer questions about whether the president’s conduct with Ukraine had been appropriate.

Mr. Gardner hasn’t indicated one way or the other whether he’d vote to subpoena witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, even as some other senators facing tough re-election fights, like Senator Susan Collins of Maine, have expressed an openness to doing so. Last week on Capitol Hill, he evaded reporters eager to pin down his thoughts, his handler hurrying him into the nearest elevator. On Thursday evening, when a local Colorado reporter caught him at the Denver airport, a smiling Mr. Gardner offered still no clarity. “We have a trial,” he said. “That’s where we’re at right now.”

While Ms. Collins and some other senators open to calling witnesses have been critical of the president at times, Mr. Gardner is far more circumspect about Mr. Trump, and relies heavily on Republicans and conservatives for votes — people who are intensely loyal to the president.

But if Mr. Gardner is going to win in 2020, in a state that votes Democratic in presidential elections, he is also going to need voters like the women who joined Ms. Gremmert for lunch on a recent Friday in Denver’s Greenwood Village. They consider themselves moderate Republicans and likely to support Mr. Gardner, but want to hear him make a case for himself and his record.

“I think his presence is being overshadowed by Donald Trump,” lamented Sandra Hagen Solin, a 51-year-old Republican who runs her own lobbying firm. “He needs to get his message out.”

That message, many Republicans insist, is a strong one. Mr. Gardner’s supporters often note how in the last four years, he has had more legislation signed into law than the rest of Colorado’s congressional delegation combined. But such is the trade-off, perhaps, of Mr. Gardner’s disappearing act: While it allows him to sidestep uncomfortable questions about the president, it also prevents him from aggressively promoting the record that Republican strategists believe he can win on.

Dick Wadhams, a veteran Colorado Republican operative, was not bashful about calling out Mr. Gardner’s fear of public exposure. “If I had one criticism of him,” Mr. Wadhams said, “it’s that his team keeps him locked up in a fortress.” (Mr. Gardner and his aides did not return multiple requests for comment.)

Impeachment has served only to highlight Mr. Gardner’s silence, whether on his own record or the national issues du jour, according to other Colorado Republicans. His caginess has frustrated some Trump supporters in Colorado, whose votes Mr. Gardner will almost certainly need to prevail in November, when Democrats are likely to come out in force in the presidential election.

“I think he wants to please everybody, but he needs to be more transparent,” Angela Carr, a 44-year-old flight attendant, said at the Denver Republican Party’s recent monthly breakfast.

Ms. Carr, who said she became a Republican “because of Trump,” recalled the October day that Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina introduced a resolution condemning the House impeachment inquiry. “We’re watching all the other Republican senators sign on it, and we’re like, ‘O.K., Cory …’” she said. “And he finally did toward the end, but you kind of want to see your guy or gal more out there.”

She and others at the Denver breakfast acknowledged the political considerations that prevent Mr. Gardner from mirroring the approach of a Southern lawmaker like Mr. Graham on impeachment. In 2016, Mr. Trump lost Colorado to Hillary Clinton by just under five percentage points. In 2018, Democrats swept every statewide office in Colorado in what was largely seen as a rebuke to Mr. Trump’s administration. And now, Mr. Gardner, according to Morning Consult, has an approval rating of just 36 percent.

But many Republicans were quick to point out that Mr. Gardner is no stranger to long-shot races and the complicated political dynamics that come with them.

In 2014, Mr. Gardner, then a congressman, challenged Senator Mark Udall in a race where “Cory was seen as a dead man walking,” according to Tyler Sandberg, a Colorado Republican operative. The reason: Just two years earlier, President Barack Obama had beaten Mitt Romney in the state by more than five points.

But Mr. Gardner won his seat in 2014 by 2.5 percentage points, or about 50,000 votes, in a year when Republicans flipped nine Democratic-held seats nationwide and took control of the Senate. He was able to do so in large part, Mr. Sandberg said, “because he refused to let himself be pigeonholed into something he wasn’t.”

In his campaign, Mr. Udall sought to characterize Mr. Gardner as an extreme social conservative, which Mr. Gardner — in a steady stream of television ads, digital media and public appearances — consistently pushed back on.

It’s an approach that Republican strategists believe would work well in this environment, too, as some Democrats try to portray him as too pro-Trump and some conservatives say he is not pro-Trump enough.

“I’m confused as to why he’s not out on the stump more, because that’s what he was so good at in 2014,” Mr. Sandberg said.

In addition to not holding a town hall event since August 2017, Mr. Gardner has no upcoming events listed on his Facebook page. In an August 2019 editorial, The Greeley Tribune, which serves Mr. Gardner’s former congressional district, criticized the senator for his dearth of public events. “Gardner has been largely absent during the past five years when it comes to being available for his constituents, to whom he needs to be accountable,” the editorial board wrote.

And on impeachment, he has rankled even local talk radio hosts for dodging interviews. In late November, Steffan Tubbs, who hosts a Denver station owned by the conservative broadcast company Salem Media, told his viewers that Mr. Gardner’s team had declined a request to interview the senator about “the impeachment inquiry, campaign, and Thanksgiving plans.” Mr. Tubbs, who called Mr. Gardner “a friend,” criticized the senator for his “crickets” during “a very critical time in this administration.”

Some Republican voters sympathize with Mr. Gardner’s predicament. In his last town hall event, which was his first in a year, Mr. Gardner was all but shouted offstage by liberal protesters as he tried to explain his efforts to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act.

“I don’t blame a senator or congressman for trying to find another way to engage that’s actually productive and collaborative,” said Debbie Brown, the president of the Colorado Business Roundtable, who considers herself a moderate Republican.

But other observers think he missed an opportunity, if only to make a point about liberals like those who shouted him down. “I thought Cory should have held one town hall after another right away, then stopped them on the grounds the left was so asinine,” said Lynn Bartels, a former longtime political reporter in Colorado.

Mr. Gardner’s supporters are optimistic that once voters hear the extent of his record “separate from Trump,” as Ms. Solin put it, his stance on the president will matter less. His supporters point to his yearslong effort to relocate the Bureau of Land Management from Washington, D.C., to Colorado, which the administration has announced as officially underway. They also promote his work with Democrats including Senator Elizabeth Warren to allow cannabis businesses access to the banking industry in states like Colorado, where marijuana is legal.

Mr. Gardner is likely to end up facing John Hickenlooper, the former Democratic governor now running for Senate, in the general election, and he will probably maintain many Republican votes — even if cast grudgingly.

At the recent Denver G.O.P. breakfast, where some people wore “Make America Great Again” and “Keep America Great” hats, but where Mr. Gardner’s campaign was limited to a leaflet, Herb Glasser, a 54-year-old public accountant, said he planned to support Mr. Gardner despite resigning himself to being “unhappy” with the senator a long time ago.

“We have no choice,” said Mr. Glasser, who described himself as a “true conservative.”

According to Mr. Sandberg, the G.O.P. operative, it’s now up to Mr. Gardner’s campaign to reach those Coloradans who, despite their disdain for the president, might still be persuaded to give his party a chance.

Voters, perhaps, like Amy Conklin. Ms. Conklin, a former Littleton City Council member, is a registered Democrat, but says she has long “put out yard signs for both sides.” She was a legislative aide when Mr. Gardner was a member of the state House, and remembers him as “a really good legislator,” someone who “would reach across the aisle.”

Her feelings since have changed. “I’ve been intensely disappointed in his behavior since he’s gone to Washington,” she said.

Ms. Conklin conceded that Mr. Gardner had done some good work in the Senate. But what looms largest in her mind, what she says she’d be hardest pressed to forget, are a handful of photographs she’s seen of Mr. Gardner, including one from last winter, in which she described him as “smiling and waving, following Trump out of Air Force One.”

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The Tomahawks Come Out for Elizabeth Warren From Other Democrats on Health Care

Westlake Legal Group 31-elizabeth-warren.w529.h352.2x-300x200 The Tomahawks Come Out for Elizabeth Warren From Other Democrats on Health Care white house washington D.C. warren Social Media progressives Popular Culture Mitt Romney Michael Bennet Massachusetts Liberal Elitism Hollywood healthcare Health Care Government Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Constitution Conservatives Congress communism Colorado Capitalism biden Bernie Sanders Barack Obama Allow Media Exception 2019

Senator Elizabeth Warren

The faux Indian references never get old.

Yesterday, I wrote about how Sen. Elizabeth Warren FINALLY has gotten around to talking about actually releasing a plan on Medicare for all. READ: FINALLY: Elizabeth Warren Will Unveil Her Medicare For All Plan. We Still Go Broke With It. This plan is full of crap that she can’t actually do. Simply because the system is already broke and taxing all the wealth in the country won’t fix that.

One of her colleagues in the race for the Democratic nomination in 2020 has taken notice and has decided to call her out.

According to Fox News

2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is being dishonest about her health care plan, which would add trillions to the deficit and raise taxes on all Americans, so she can use it as a soundbite, said Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo, on Monday.

“I think she’s not being honest about her plan,” Bennet said on “CNN Newsroom.” “I think her plan, which costs $33 trillion, is the equivalent of 70 percent of all the taxes that the federal government will collect over the next 10 years.

“I mean, it is a massive increase in taxes to this country and it hasn’t been explained to the American people,” he continued.

“It’s a soundbite. And more than that… it’s not based on common sense.”

What tipped you off, Senator, that her lips were moving?

Bennet has actually praised Bernie Sanders on his plan for at least being honest about how he is going to tax people for the luxury of free healthcare. Sanders is going to tax everyone and says it. Elizabeth’s plan, much like Obamacare was, is built upon a premise of “I won’t be around when the crap hits the fan so you guys figure it out.”

As we come up to the 100-day mark before the Iowa caucuses we are going to see that those who are on the bubble or are ticked off that they have not taken off in the polls start taking scalps of the frontrunner. (I CAN’T STOP.)

Warren has a very strained relationship with the truth and it is no surprise that she would put out a plan that other semi-reasonable people would immediately destroy. The last debate showed that when everyone took a shot at her they were letting her know she was full of buffalo chips. Going forward this pounding is only going to get worse.

Elizabeth should just go full Bernie and decide to be absolutely honest and say if you want mediocre health care for all then we have to tax you more than you have ever been taxed before. This is what you want, lemmings, so shut your pie holes and obey.

Maybe then her Senate colleagues also running for President would offer her praise instead of scorn.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post The Tomahawks Come Out for Elizabeth Warren From Other Democrats on Health Care appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group 31-elizabeth-warren.w529.h352.2x-300x200 The Tomahawks Come Out for Elizabeth Warren From Other Democrats on Health Care white house washington D.C. warren Social Media progressives Popular Culture Mitt Romney Michael Bennet Massachusetts Liberal Elitism Hollywood healthcare Health Care Government Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Constitution Conservatives Congress communism Colorado Capitalism biden Bernie Sanders Barack Obama Allow Media Exception 2019   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Hoo boy: Colorado poll has Cory Gardner trailing by double digits in Senate race

Westlake Legal Group cg Hoo boy: Colorado poll has Cory Gardner trailing by double digits in Senate race The Blog Senate poll peters Michigan John Hickenlooper james Cory Gardner Colorado

The hopeful caveat comes right up front: This is a Democratic poll and there’s fully a year to go before Coloradans vote.

But the caveat comes with its own caveat. An independent poll of the state conducted by Emerson in August found Gardner trailing John Hickenlooper by a similar margin. Emerson had it 53/40. Today’s Democratic poll has it 53/42. Normally it’d be implausible for any incumbent senator to trail by double digits in a swing state, but … Colorado’s not much of a swing state anymore. It’s blue enough that Hillary managed to win it in 2016 when virtually every other battleground across the country was tilting towards Trump. And Gardner’s not facing some rando next fall. Hickenlooper is a twice-elected governor (and before that a twice-elected mayor of Denver), probably better known to most voters there than Gardner himself is. It’s certainly possible that this really is a 10-point race right now.

To think: If Hickenlooper’s presidential run had gotten a tiny bit more traction, he might have been forced to stick around in the Dem primaries long enough that his window to run for Senate back home would have closed. His total failure at the national level seems likely to produce a Senate pick-up for Democrats next fall.

The poll shows that President Trump is at his lowest popularity point since he took office. Thirty-eight percent of people polled said they viewed him favorably, compared to 60% who view him unfavorably. His favorability has only been that low once in KOM polling, in March 2018; and his unfavorability was last that high in January. KOM also conducted a similar poll in June…

Thirty-four percent of people polled in the latest KOM survey said they viewed Gardner favorably, compared to 45% who view him unfavorably. His favorability was lowest, and his unfavorability highest, at any point that KOM has polled that question over the past 2 ½ years…

Fifty-four percent of respondents said they support the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, compared to 43% who oppose it. And 48% of respondents said they believe Trump should be impeached and removed from office, compared to 44% who said he should not be.

Some have noted that Hickenlooper’s 53/42 margin over Gardner closely matches support for the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, which runs 54/43. Trump may be killing Gardner here. And if it’s true that Trump’s own approval rating in Colorado stands at 38/60, he might not even contest the state next fall, calculating that his resources are better spent trying to flip Minnesota.

All of this puts Gardner in a terrible bind on impeachment. More so than most of his Republican colleagues, he’s damned if he votes to remove and damned if he doesn’t. The poll notes that his approval is barely above water even among his own party, which means he’ll basically be required to vote to acquit Trump to shore up their support. The last thing he can afford to do now is piss off his own base when he’s fighting uphill against Hickenlooper, after all. But given the depth of Colorado’s dislike for Trump, siding with the president is destined to cement some of the opposition to Gardner. Unaffiliated voters already favor Hickenlooper by 25 points (58/33) and 61 percent(!) of them support impeachment, which means there’s no option for Gardner on impeachment and removal that probably won’t cost him more votes than it’ll earn him.

If these Democratic numbers remotely reflect actual reality, Gardner might be sunk next fall. It’s not like the economy’s going to get dramatically better between now and then to rescue him given how well it’s done already during Trump’s term. And in light of the past week or two, it’s highly unlikely that Trump will say or do anything in the coming year that’ll rehabilitate him with Coloradans.

The only silver lining here: Doug Jones is facing the same “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” dilemma in Alabama. Vote to acquit Trump and his own party will be outraged, vote to remove and the majority of the electorate will revolt. At worst, the loss of Gardner’s seat to the GOP will be offset by the gain of Jones’s seat. The difference between the two senators is that Jones surely knows his time in the Senate is over and will probably vote on removal and everything else over the next 12 months the way he wants, without worrying about the political implications. Gardner’s doom isn’t quite as assured so he may still be susceptible to partisan pressure. For Trump’s sake, he should hope Gardner gets a good poll or two between now and the removal vote to convince him to stick with the team. If he falls further behind Hickenlooper, Gardner may say “to hell with it” and start voting the way he wants too.

It’s not all doom and gloom for Republicans in the Senate, though. I’ll leave you on a sunny note with this poll from Michigan, which has challenger John James neck and neck with Democratic incumbent Gary Peters, trailing 43/40. James outperformed expectations last year in falling short against Debbie Stabenow. With Trump at the top of the ticket in a state that went red in 2016, he has a shot at a pick-up. Which is good because, with Susan Collins in the same boat as Gardner on impeachment and removal, we shouldn’t count on Maine’s Senate seat staying red next year either.

The post Hoo boy: Colorado poll has Cory Gardner trailing by double digits in Senate race appeared first on Hot Air.

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Will The Supreme Court Get Involved in an Electoral College Issue From 2016?

Westlake Legal Group electoral-college-300x221 Will The Supreme Court Get Involved in an Electoral College Issue From 2016? washington state washington D.C. Supreme Court SCOTUS Politics News Morning Briefing Impeachment of President Trump impeachment Government Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post faithless electors elections donald trump democrats Constitution Conservatives Congress Colorado Campaigns Bill Clinton Allow Media Exception Academia 2019

The year 2016 was a doozy of an election on the national level. Donald Trump surprised a lot of people ( including myself) when he won the Presidency and made Hillary a two-time loser in POTUS runs. The reason why Trump was able to pull off this feat was because of two simple words.

Electoral College.

I have written here at Red State before about this…READ  Yuck: Colorado Decides To Bypass The Electoral College With National Popular Vote and the reason why it needs to be preserved.

Now a new challenge is possibly facing a showdown in the United States Supreme Court and it could radically alter how we have done elections in this country for over 240 years.

According to…CNN

Three presidential electors in Washington state who voted for Colin Powell in 2016 rather than Hillary Clinton and were fined under state law, are asking the US Supreme Court to take up their appeal and decide whether a state can bind an elector to vote for the state’s popular vote winner.

“The original text of the Constitution,” their lawyers argued in court papers filed Monday afternoon, “secures to electors the freedom to vote as they choose.”

If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the appeal of the so-called “faithless electors,” it could thrust the justices into yet another high-passion political fight in the heat of the 2020 presidential election. It comes as some predict that the volatile political atmosphere and disputes over redistricting could further emphasize the role of the Electoral College in the upcoming election.

The states have always run federal elections. However, with this new wrinkle, the states would pick people who then do not have to abide by the state’s very own rules if the faithless electors are ruled constitutional on a federal level.

The 10th amendment to the United States Consitution declares that…

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Even though people have argued that the 12th amendment was passed to deal with some complications in the process of federal elections it does not specifically say how states were to deal with the rules for selecting electors. That, at least in my mind would mean that the states get to pick the process.

However, can you imagine a scenario where 10 or 12 states have a different processes to pick and allow electors to do what they want? That would be an epic mess.

I am fascinated about this whole process and will keep an eye on what SCOTUS decides to do. I don’t think they have much choice to take it up and we will see soon enough.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post Will The Supreme Court Get Involved in an Electoral College Issue From 2016? appeared first on RedState.

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Joe Cunningham: A False Narrative Is Stoking Fears Over The New Joker Movie

Westlake Legal Group Joker-620x349 Joe Cunningham: A False Narrative Is Stoking Fears Over The New Joker Movie Narrative movie mental illness Media mass shooting Joker Guns Front Page Stories Featured Story Culture Colorado Aurora Allow Media Exception

It is very difficult for me to trust Warner Bros. to do any justice to a DC live-action movie ever since they started trying to churn out their own “cinematic universe” to rival Marvel’s. However, being a standalone film and not tied to any of those abominations, there is a lot of positive feedback for Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix.

The problem is that the last time the Joker had a major, perception-altering role in cinema, there was a shooting that was attributed to a worship of the character.

Many police forces are announcing they’ll be providing security at theaters to prevent another “Aurora-style” mass shooting. Other critics are pointing out the idol-worship that comes with making the villain the hero of his movie. Many people are just outraged that we would dare portray a mentally-ill person like this.

However, much of this fear and hatred is based off Aurora, Colorado, where a lunatic took a gun and shot multiple people at the premiere of The Dark Knight, where Heath Leger’s portrayal of Joker was widely acclaimed. There were reports that the movie – and Leger’s Joker in particular – were motivating factors for the shooting.

Those reports, though, were bogus.

The Washington Post’s story with the photo gallery said this: “Holmes, who told police he was ‘the Joker’ … .”

The article linked to a 2012 ABC News report with a statement by New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, saying Holmes had called himself the Joker.

Kelly’s comment to the press appears to be the origin of this myth. Why the NYPD police commissioner would be in a position to know anything about police activity in Aurora is beyond me.

Indeed, why would New York’s police commissioner know or even comment on that?

“It is not true,” said George Brauchler, the 18th Judicial District attorney, who prosecuted the case.

“It is ridiculous,” he said. “Completely unfounded. Some of this stuff. … It gets repeated by so many sources by people doing their research that it just becomes real.”

Investigators heard no witness talking about the Joker, he said. And no police officer claimed Holmes called himself the Joker.

People point to the shooter’s red hair as a sign of the idol worship – except the Joker’s hair is green and when asked by investigators, the shooter himself said it was because red suggests bravery.

But nonetheless, there is a panic among people who think that the Aurora shooting coupled with the political and social environment we live in will undoubtedly lead to another major event. It’s impossible to say one way or another whether that’s the case, but as is so often the case, the issue has way more to do with mental health than it does the move of the night.

If someone were to do try for a repeat, they will be doing so because of the myth that was constructed here, not because of the worship of the Joker. The Joker is a compelling character, no matter what interpretation you are viewing, but he’s not someone who gets “worshipped.” However, the myth of James Holmes, the Aurora shooter, and the reduced inhibitions of someone who is mentally ill and seeking to be remembered for something like he is are far more likely to bring trouble.

Had the myth of Holmes as “The Joker” not been spun into existence by people who were ignorant of the case, then that risk would be greatly diminished. Instead, we get people who, once again, like to find ways to blame something else other than mental illness as the reason people do horrific things.

 


Joe Cunningham is a Senior Editor at RedState. You can find more of his writings here and his commentary on Louisiana issues at The Hayride. You can also follow him on Twitter at @JoePCunningham and Like his page on Facebook.

The post Joe Cunningham: A False Narrative Is Stoking Fears Over The New Joker Movie appeared first on RedState.

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Dis-robed: Is it time for the Supreme Court to take up toplessness?

Westlake Legal Group KiaSinclair Dis-robed: Is it time for the Supreme Court to take up toplessness? topless The Blog Supreme Court free the nipple Fort Collins Colorado 10th circuit

No, not for themselves, although not not for themselves either. A decision by Fort Collins, Colorado not to challenge a 2-1 10th Circuit ruling that struck down ordinances against topless women in their city has the impact of striking down similar statutes across six states. It might be late in the season, but the Free the Nipple movement can celebrate the win in their preferred style in Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming as well as the Rocky Mountain state:

Fort Collins, Colorado, decided not to continue its challenge to a federal court’s decision that a ban on going topless in the city amounts to unconstitutional discrimination, NBC News reported.

The city had argued that a repeal of the ban would lead to women “parading in front of elementary schools or swimming topless in the public pool,” according to the report.

The city decided not to appeal the decision this month after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the legal battle already, NBC reported.

The decision to not move forward with the appeal effectively legalizes the practice in the six states covered by the 10th Circuit court, according to the report.

Jazz covered the 10th Circuit’s ruling back in February, but it’s worth revisiting again after Fort Collins’ surrender. The court ruled that the ordinance barring female toplessness had no other rational basis than gender discrimination. The city had argued that exposed female breasts had an “inherently sexual nature,” which raised “myriad concerns” about public order if unrestricted toplessness was adopted. As the ruling notes, the city outlined a few of those concerns:

The officials testified that female toplessness could disrupt public order, lead to distracted driving, and endanger children. Citing these concerns, the City claims that prohibiting only female toplessness serves to protect children from public nudity, to maintain public order, and to promote traffic safety.

Needless to say, the traffic safety argument didn’t carry the day. Instead, the court panel blamed “negative stereotypes” about the female breast for gender discrimination:

We’re left, as the district court was, to suspect that the City’s professed interest in protecting children derives not from any morphological differences between men’s and women’s breasts but from negative stereotypes depicting women’s breasts, but not men’s breasts, as sex objects.

One can endlessly debate whether the sexual allure of women’s breasts are a negative, let alone a “stereotype” in the sense that it falsely portrays reality. The vast experience of human sexuality seems to clearly indicate that women’s breasts contribute to their sexual allure far more than men’s breasts to to theirs. In his dissent, Judge Harris Hartz notes that gender-discrimination laws and precedents traditionally apply where there are no rational differences between the sexes. The Fort Collins ordinance does not irrationally discriminate, Hartz wrote, but follows a long line of public-indecency laws that necessarily deal with rational physical differences between the sexes:

It is part of a long tradition of laws prohibiting public indecency—the public display of portions of the anatomy that are perceived as particularly erotic or serve an excretory function. These laws may be justified as reducing or preventing antisocial behavior caused by indecent exposure: offensive behavior ranging from assault to corruption of youth to simply distraction from productive activity. The Ordinance does not discriminate against women on the basis of any overbroad generalization about their perceived “talents, capacities, or preferences.” To the extent it distinguishes between the sexes, it is based on inherent biological, morphological differences between them. Those differences are not stereotypes. They are not statistical differences, they are not matters of degree. They are differences in anatomical structure that reflect the unique biological roles played by males and females. (Plaintiffs’ “evidence” that the breasts of men and women are essentially identical cannot be taken seriously.) We are not dealing here with a “simplistic, outdated assumption that gender could be used as a proxy for other, more germane bases of classification.” Mississippi University for Women, 458 U.S. at 726 (internal quotation marks omitted).

And, to go back to first principles in equal-protection jurisprudence, there is nothing inherently invidious to an adult of either gender in declaring that an inherent biological, morphological feature of his or her body is erotic. That view would be inconsistent with the fundamental role of sexual attraction in our most revered social institution—marriage; to believe that a spouse is sexually attractive is not to demean the spouse. I do not think the Supreme Court has embraced the view that it is.

In this light, it is apparent that the rationales supporting heightened scrutiny of gender discrimination have no purchase in the context of indecency laws based on inherent biological, morphological differences between the sexes.

I’m torn between libertarianism, subsidiarity, and conservatism on this point but end up agreeing with Hartz. It might well be that Fort Collins’ ideas on public indecency are outmoded and that their concerns are overblown, but that’s an issue for Fort Collins voters, not the federal courts. There are natural and significant differences between men and women that require specific attention in public indecency laws, which means there is a rational and essentially non-discriminatory reason for drawing those distinctions. Federal courts should have stopped when the obvious rational basis for this was made clear. (And to be honest, I’d prefer that men cover up rather than free their nipples in public, too, but I don’t live in Fort Collins.) The role of the federal judiciary is to judge cases in light of the Constitution and federal law, not to strike down laws they think are foolish. That’s the job of legislatures and voters.

Back in February, it looked likely that Fort Collins would appeal this to the Supreme Court. Now that they’re out of the action, will one of the states impacted by their forfeit take up the challenge instead? As NBC News notes, it’s ripe for cert, and thanks to another similar case, the court might end up taking both at the same time regardless:

Most other courts have rejected equal-protection challenges to bans on female toplessness, as the Tenth Circuit acknowledged in its February ruling, saying “ours is the minority viewpoint.”

But the ruling said the trend has been toward “requiring more⁠— not less— judicial scrutiny when asserted physical differences are raised to justify gender-based discrimination.”

A challenge to a local topless ban in New Hampshire is now pending before the US Supreme Court, brought by three women who appeared topless at a lakeside beach. The state supreme court acknowledged that the law treats men and women differently. But it said public exposure of the female breast “almost invariably conveys sexual overtones.”

The U.S. Supreme Court will announce later this year whether it will hear the case.

We now have the kind of split that usually merits a grant of cert by the Supreme Court. If they do take this up, it will almost certainly be one of the most-watched cases on the docket this year. Oh come on, you know what I mean.

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A 24-Year-Old with a Failing 2nd Heart Makes a Wish List, and Maybe You Can Help

Westlake Legal Group jennifer-ortiz-heart-transplant-SCREENSHOT-620x350 A 24-Year-Old with a Failing 2nd Heart Makes a Wish List, and Maybe You Can Help Uncategorized kdvr jennifer ortiz healthcare Front Page Stories Fox 31 Featured Story Denver Culture Conservatives Colorado Allow Media Exception

[Screenshot from KVDR, https://kdvr.com/2019/09/10/local-24-year-old-woman-in-heart-failure-asking-for-help-with-her-bucket-list/]

 

24-year-old Jennifer Ortiz, of Commerce City, Colorado, has started a GoFundMe page.

The reason? Her bucket list.

It’s one she shouldn’t — at such a young age — have to make.

But after being denied a third heart transplant — and with only a biventricular assist device keeping her alive — she doesn’t know how much longer she’ll have.

Her father, Danny, explained to Denver’s Fox 31:

“[BiVAD’s are] not designed to be a total artificial heart.”


Jennifer underwent her first transplant at 12 years old, following the diagnosis of an enlarged heart initially manifested by a prolonged cough.

In 2017, she received a 2nd heart, which is now failing.

As reported by Fox News, on September 5th, she was told she was being placed on palliative care.

Now she’s looking to do what she can with the time she has left.

“We’ve got to condense a lifetime into as much time as we have,” Danny explained.

A few of Jennifer’s hopes? To see the Big Apple, attend a Cowboys game, see The Ellen DeGeneres Show live, meet the Jonas Brothers, and enjoy a Broadway musical.

So why am I writing all this? Because of Jennifer, and because of you. After all — despite some claims to the contrary, conservatives have generous hearts. If you have a way of helping — whatever that might be — now you know of one more person in a world of need. Maybe you’ll assist her with your prayers. Or maybe you work for Ellen.

If you’d like to visit her GoFundMe — for which, of course, I cannot vouch — you can do so here.

On the page, Jennifer writes:

“If any of you have travelled to the destination I am going to, I’d love to get some ideas of what to do and see while I am there!”

Perhaps you have advice.

Politics and culture mean nothing without life; here’s to hoping Jennifer Ortiz has much more of it to live.

And in that gifted loan of time, may she — and may we all — find something wonderful.

Including the wonder of helping others.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

This Video Of Parents In The Armed Forces Surprising Their Little Children Will Leave You In Tears

HILARIOUS: A Little Boy Calls 911 Because He’s Hungry. What Happens Next Will Be Your Favorite Story This Week

Louisiana Woman Tries To Beat Boyfriend To Death With His Prosthetic Leg After He Says He Wants To Date Someone Else

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Colorado School Bans Teen After Going to a Shooting Range With Mother, Even After Police Clear Him

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I’ve constantly pushed education about firearms over blind fear because blind fear tends to make people make stupid decisions. Case in point, Loveland High School in Loveland, Colorado is currently proving me correct.

According to the Second Amendment Group “Rally for Our Rights,” Justine Myers picked up her 16-year-old son Nate early from school in order to take him to go target shooting as a way to bond with her son.

Nat had apparently posted a couple of videos from his cell phone to social media displaying the guns he was going to be shooting with, and his mother instructing him while he fired them at the range.

After the two had come home from the range, police arrived at their door, having gotten reports that Nate was a potential threat due to his posting firearms online.

After viewing the videos, police determined that the Myers family had done nothing illegal, were using legally owned firearms, and that Nate was not a threat to anyone. As “Rally for Our Rights” states, that should have been the end of it, but things only went downhill from there.

On Wednesday morning, Myers woke up to a voicemail from her son’s high school saying that he would not be allowed to return to school as he had been deemed a threat:

The voicemail informed Justine that a report had come in claiming Nate was a threat to the school and he was not allowed to return until further notice. The report presumably came through Safe 2 Tell.  There are reports that a school wide email was also sent to parents about the “threat”.   Justine immediately contacted the school assuming she could easily clear things up, especially since the police had already assessed the situation and realized no one had done anything wrong or made any threats.  She was wrong.  The school not only refused to provide her with more information about the “threat”, but they refused to provide Nate with schoolwork so he doesn’t get behind.

She was told that she could attend a “threat assessment hearing” on Thursday morning with seven school officials in attendance so that she can “make their case” for her son’s innocence.

Legal experts told “Rally for Our Rights” that the school is currently within legal bounds to do this, and while I can respect legality, I can’t respect misplaced panic.

The police cleared Nate of being a threat and everything the Myers family was doing was completely legal. Loveland high is essentially punishing the Myers family for the act of doing nothing wrong based on the false need to feel overly cautious. Erring on the side of caution is one thing, but the cultural assumption that people who enjoy shooting firearms are possible threats that should be taken seriously is going to make everyone scared of a majority of America.

What bothers me most is that this seems to me like more than just precaution.

The school should be good with simply calling the police and asking for a report about what happened. Upon the police telling them that there is nothing to worry about, the case should have been done. That it wasn’t says there’s more here than just school officials wanting to make sure everything is fine.

It comes off more as a message, or at least, that’s what the optics seem like. It’s clear that a mother and son weren’t doing anything to be worried about, and even the police agree. Maintaining that there needs to be a “threat assessment” after that would definitely put other parents of the mind that any mention of firearms or guns in public is a bad idea.

Silence about practicing and standing up for your Second Amendment right becomes a risky venture.

Maybe that’s the intent of the school officials, or maybe it’s not, but that’s the effect it’s going to have regardless.

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Identity politics meltdown: Lesbians Against Buttigieg?

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Democrats plan to go all-in on identity politics in 2020 — as soon as they can establish their hierarchy of identities. Politico reports today that Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has made his sexual orientation a key selling point in his campaign to become the first openly gay president, might ironically find himself the victim of identity politics. Lesbians, it turns out, are less interested in sexual orientation than in gender when it comes to electoral justice next year:

Campbell Spencer, a lesbian and political consultant, moved to Washington in the 1990s to work in LGBTQ advocacy. She wooed gay and lesbian voters for Al Gore, worked a stint in the Obama White House and now serves on the board of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which this year issued its first-ever endorsement of a presidential candidate: Pete Buttigieg.

But Spencer herself will not be voting for Buttigieg.

“Mayor Pete, he’s a trailblazer,” Spencer said in an interview. “But I’m one of these women who thinks we are way overdue for having a woman in the White House. That’s a lens through which I’m going to filter my decision.”

Buttigieg, the openly gay mayor of South Bend, Ind., has drawn notable support from gay voters and donors for his presidential bid. But interviews with a dozen prominent Democrats in the LGBTQ community spotlight a remarkable collision of goals and ideals in the community of lesbian political activists this year. As the 2020 field slowly winnows, people are divided over which glass ceiling to break first.

Call it a Kanye West moment for identity groups in this cycle. Yo Pete, I’m really happy for you, Im’a let you finish, but HILLARY …

“It feels like a slap in the face to just go directly to the white gay guy, when for decades you’ve been trying to elect a woman and it didn’t happen last time,” said one lesbian Democrat who works in national politics. “If Pete Buttigieg is elected it won’t feel like a vindication of Hillary Clinton. If a woman is elected, it will.”

Er … why would this election be a “vindication of Hillary Clinton” in any form? Even if Elizabeth Warren won the nomination and the general election, that wouldn’t be a “vindication” of Clinton. Hillary had her own chance to win an election, a chance handed to her by the DNC on a silver platter, and she blew it. And one of the ways in which Hillary blew it was by making the election about identity politics and her own entitlement when voters wanted the election to be about themselves.

In fact, most voters still labor under the delusion that primaries are all about finding the best person to elect, in this case into the most powerful position in the country, rather than a nominee for Symbol of the Quadrennium. Even among Democratic voters, identity politics is not terribly attractive, as Monmouth discovered earlier this year:

Race and gender do not seem to be important factors for Democratic voters when considering who the party should choose to run against Trump. Fully 87% say the race of the nominee does not matter. Just 5% say it would be better for Democrats to nominate a person of color, which is offset by 6% who say it would actually be better for the party to nominate a white candidate. Similarly, 77% say the gender of the nominee does not matter. Just 7% say it would be better for Democrats to nominate a woman, while slightly more (12%) say it would actually be better for the party to nominate a man.

And yet, Democratic leadership and activists remain obsessed with identity politics. That nearly touched off a civil war earlier this year when the Frosh Squad accused Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders for being racist in criticizing them, and this Politico story suggests that the Identity Wars may yet start up again. If Democrats are determined to appeal to the 7% at the expense of the 87%, they’ll lose in 2020 no matter who they nominate. Donald Trump may have many faults, but he knows how to make elections about empowering voters rather than entitling politicians.

It’s not just on the national level, either. Six of the Democrats running for the Senate nomination in Colorado sent a letter to the DSCC excoriating the decision to recruit and endorse John Hickenlooper to run against Cory Gardner. How dare they pass over women in an attempt to win an election!

Six of the women vying for the Democratic nomination in Colorado’s 2020 U.S. Senate race sent a letter Monday to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and its leadership urging them to reconsider their early endorsement of John Hickenlooper in the race.

“We are writing today to urge the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to reconsider its early endorsement of former Governor John Hickenlooper. All of us, like many women in Colorado and across the country, have seen well-qualified women passed over for male candidates in the workplace time and again,” wrote Sen. Angela Williams, Alice Madden, Diana Bray, Stephany Rose Spaulding, Lorena Garcia and Michelle Ferrigno Warren to the DSCC, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto.

They sent the letter on Monday, which was Women’s Equality Day 2019 in the U.S.

 

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Electoral College Members Can Defy Voters’ Wishes, Court Rules

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In a ruling that kicks at the foundation of how America chooses presidents, a federal appeals court on Tuesday said members of the Electoral College, who cast the actual votes for president, may choose whomever they please regardless of a state’s popular vote.

The ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver said Colorado was out of bounds in 2016 when it canceled the vote of a so-called faithless elector named Michael Baca. Mr. Baca, a Democrat, wrote in the name of John Kasich, a Republican who was Ohio’s governor at the time, even though Hillary Clinton carried Colorado, earning its nine electoral votes. The secretary of state replaced Mr. Baca with another elector who then voted for Mrs. Clinton.

“The text of the Constitution makes clear that states do not have the constitutional authority to interfere with presidential electors who exercise their constitutional right to vote for the president and vice president candidates of their choice,” the court majority wrote in a split ruling by a three-judge panel.

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Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard law professor who founded the group that brought the case, Equal Citizens, said it was the first time a federal appeals court had ruled on whether electors could be bound in how they vote. Many states, including Colorado, have laws requiring electors to pledge that they will support the winner of the popular vote. The Constitution is mute on the subject. The appeals court noted that a handful of faithless electors have broken pledges to vote with their state’s majority since the presidential election of 1796.

Equal Citizens wants the Supreme Court to review the issue before the 2020 election. Because of hyper-partisanship and demographic changes pushing the country into near evenly divided camps, Mr. Lessig said, soon there very likely will be a presidential election that yields a tie or near tie in the Electoral College. Then, many more electors other than Mr. Baca may seek to influence the results, producing chaos.

“Whatever side you’re on, whether you think it’s a good or bad idea for electors to have freedom, the question ought to be resolved before there is a constitutional crisis,” Mr. Lessig said.

Resistance to the role of the Electoral College — which the nation’s founders set up out of fear of too much democracy, and which benefited Southern slaveholding states at the time — has grown stronger among Democrats ever since the 2000 election, when Al Gore won the popular vote but lost in the Electoral College.

President Trump’s Electoral College victory, despite losing the popular vote by nearly three million, only intensified Democrats’ antipathy. (Mr. Trump won states with 306 electoral votes, and Mrs. Clinton 232. But the vote in the Electoral College was 304 to 227, with seven electors defecting, the most ever.)

Democratic candidates for president this year, including Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have called for the elimination of the Electoral College.

“Every vote matters, and the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting, and that means get rid of the Electoral College,” Ms. Warren said while campaigning in March.

In addition, 15 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws to award their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. The agreement would go into effect once states representing a majority of 270 electoral votes join the interstate agreement.

Colorado joined the group in March. Even still, its secretary of state, Jena Griswold, a Democrat, opposed the appeals court ruling this week. “This court decision takes power from Colorado voters and sets a dangerous precedent,” she said in a statement. “Our nation stands on the principle of one person, one vote.”

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